The Italy international initially escaped punishment after it appeared that he kicked Scott Parker in the head in the Etihad Stadium team’s 3-2 win over Tottenham on Sunday.
However the game’s governing body in England retrospectively handed down a four-match punishment, and despite not challenging the decision, Balotelli has stated that he is innocent.
“I am not a villain or a violent player,” the attacker told The Independent.
“I have accepted the ban because I couldn’t prove my innocence.
“I didn’t try to heel Parker,” he concluded.
Roberto Mancini is also very upset with the forward’s suspension, and feels his side have been hard done by.
“The referee was there, 10 metres from the tackle. He could have sent Mario off at that moment, not after the game because he watched the video,” Mancini stated.
“That is easy. I can be a referee in the next game. He (Howard Webb) can’t say he didn’t see it. He saw everything.
“Now it is finished and Mario can do nothing. We lost Vinny (Kompany) for four games for nothing and now we are without Mario,” the trainer moaned.
By Gareth McKnight